From the top, Waterford’s 2017 Hurling All-Stars, Stephen O’Keeffe, Noel Connors, Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran and Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh.
The 2017 2017 PwC All-Star hurling team was announced this morning and it’s good reading for Déise fans, with five Waterford men named in the team.
They are goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe of Ballygunner, who is winning his well deserved first award. Noel Connors of Passage wins his third award at left corner-back, Fourmilewater’s Jamie Barron makes it back to back awards at midfield while Waterford Captain, De La Salle’s Kevin Moran also wins his second award at right half forward. Completing the Déise contingent is 34 year old Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh of Stradbally who wins his fourth All-Star award at left half forward.
It’s a record equalling total for the All-Ireland finalists with seven Galway men named in the team along with Waterford’s five. The Galway representatives are Padraic Mannion and Daithí Burke in the full-back line, Gearóid McInerney at centre-back, David Burke at midfield, Joe Canning at centre-forward and Conor Whelan and Conor Cooney in the full forward line.
The team is completed by Cork pair, Mark Coleman at left half back and Patrick Horgan at top of the left and Tipperary’s Pádraic Maher at right half back.
The team is broken down between Galway (7), Waterford (5), Cork (2) and Tipperary (1).
Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe is one of six first-time PwC All-Star winners.
Joe Canning, who is hot favourite to be named Hurler of the Year ahead of Waterford’s Jamie Barron and Kevin Moran tomorrow night picks up his fourth award, as does Déise wing forward Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh. However, this is his first award in the attack, having been selected at midfield in 2007 and centre back in 2009 and 2010.
Waterford’s Conor Gleeson is on the shortlist for the Young Hurler of the Year Award along with Mark Coleman of Cork and Conor Whelan of Galway.
Both the Hurler and Young Hurler of the Year will be award at tomorrow night’s function live on RTE.
GAA Ard Stiúrthóir, Páraic Duffy, congratulated the winners and said: “Ever since the inaugural presentation of these awards in 1971, being an All-Star has been regarded as something truly special in the GAA.
“Our passion for our Games is fueled by the heroic exploits of the players who inspire us week after week, and I want to congratulate the high caliber PwC All-Star class of 2017 on their selection, which is recognition of their consistent excellence.
“Regardless of whether it is a first such award or one of several, it is a prestigious honour and one that is equally treasured by a player’s family and club.”
GPA Chief Executive Dermot Earley offered his congratulations to all the award winners and commented: “The PwC All-Stars is the most coveted award scheme in the country and it is a huge honour to be recognised as one of the best 15 hurlers or footballers in the country.
“I would like to applaud all of those who have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication throughout the 2017 season and indeed throughout their careers. I know they will treasure this recognition long after they have hung up their boots.
“The PwC All-Stars banquet on Friday night is one of the highlights of the GAA calendar and it will be a particularly special day for All-Ireland SHC champions Galway, who capped a wonderful season with seven awards. Well done to all nominees and congratulations to all award winners.”
Commenting on the announcement, Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all 45 hurlers who have been recognised for their efforts this year.
“To be shortlisted for a PwC All-Star is an incredible achievement in itself, so each player should be very proud of the commitment they made to excel for their respective counties this season. As sponsors, we are delighted to partner with the GAA and GPA to celebrate the excellence of these players, so it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the 2017 PwC GAA / GPA All Stars Hurling Team.”
The team was selected by a cross section of Gaelic Games Correspondents in the national media.
The newly-crowned PwC All-Stars will receive their awards at a prestigious black-tie gala banquet in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Friday evening, and will be shown live on RTE 1 television from 7pm.
The announcement of the 2017 PwC All-Star Football team will be made live on Friday night, as will the announcement of the Footballer and Hurler of the Year, and the Young Footballer and Hurler of the Year. These awards are voted on exclusively by the inter-county players.
The PwC All-Star hurling team in full is:
1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Waterford) – First-time All-Star
2. Padraic Mannion (Galway) – First-time All-Star
3. Daithí Burke (Galway) – Third-time winner. Previously won in 2015 & 16
4. Noel Connors (Waterford) – Third-time winner. Previously won in 2010 & 2015
5. Padraic Maher (Tipperary) – Five-time winner. Previously won in 2009, ‘11/’14/’16
6. Gearóid McInerney (Galway) – First-time All-Star
7. Mark Coleman (Cork) – First time All-Star
8. Jamie Barron (Waterford) – Two-time All-Star. Previously won in 2016
9. David Burke (Galway) – Four-time All-Star. Previously won in 2012/’15/’16
10. Kevin Moran (Waterford) – Two-time All-Star. Previously won in 2012
11. Joe Canning (Galway) – Four-time All-Star. Previously won in 2008/’09/’12
12. Michael Walsh (Waterford) – Four-time All-Star. Previously won in 2007/’09/’10
13. Conor Whelan (Galway) – First-time All-Star
14. Conor Cooney (Galway) – First-time All-Star
15. Patrick Horgan (Cork) – Two-time All-Star. Previously won in 2013